Tareq Aziz Casts Doubt on Blix's Impartiality
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz has cast doubts on the objectivity of Hans Blix, the chief of the new arms body UNMOVIC charged with disarming Iraq, state television reported Tuesday.
Blix is "one of the international workers to have deferred to international pressure, as the UN secretary-general himself has done," Aziz said in a speech made in Baghdad on Saturday to Iraqi expatriates.
"Who guarantees that they will be honest and 100-percent objective?" he asked.
"There are some rare cases of honest people, like Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, who spoke out for justice," Aziz said of the two former UN aid chiefs in Iraq who both resigned to protest the decade-long sanctions imposed on Iraq.
"But this does not mean that all UN workers who'll be named in the new commission share their qualities," he added.
Aziz on Saturday stressed his rejection of the latest UN plans to resume weapons inspections in the country, saying the Security Council's unanimous approval Thursday for the UNMOVIC blueprint meant "nothing to us."
He said Baghdad had given no indication it would cooperate with inspections or accept December's Security Council resolution 1284 offering a renewable suspension of sanctions in exchange for cooperation.
The Security Council approved plans for the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) to replace the UN Special Commission for Disarmament in Iraq (UNSCOM), which left Baghdad in December 1998.
UNSCOM, which left Baghdad on the eve of US-British air strikes, was accused by Baghdad of spying on behalf of the United States and Israel.
CANADA GIVES IRAQ 670,000 DOLLARS IN HUMANITARIAN AID
Canada will provide 670,000 US dollars in humanitarian aid to Iraq through international relief agencies, said Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy in Ottawa Tuesday.
The aid will be deposited with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross and will be used to rebuild schools, hospitals and water treatment plants, Axworthy said in a statement issued Monday.
The assistance will help "ease the suffering" of the Iraqi people while international sanctions will remain in effect until Iraq stops making weapons of mass destruction and allows UN inspection teams to monitor weapons sites, the statement said.
The aid package was the outcome of a Canadian mission sent to Iraq by Aixworthy in November to assess the most urgent humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people, his statement said – (AFP).
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